The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their pregnancy.

The legislation also covers a potential pregnancy. This means that it is also unlawful to discriminate against a woman because the woman:

  • is or may be capable of bearing children; or
  • has expressed a desire to become pregnant; or
  • is likely, or perceived as being likely, to become pregnant.

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Pregnancy discrimination examples

  • An organisation refused to employ a woman as a trainee pilot because of the possibility of absences due to a possible future pregnancy. Although the woman was rated highly at the interview, the organisation argued that it could not justify the investment in training if it was likely the woman would have children later.
  • A year 11 high school student had an unplanned pregnancy, but wanted to complete her schooling. When the school heard that she was pregnant, the principal asked her to leave school for the sake of the school's reputation.
  • A woman working at a fast food outlet was required to wear a corporate uniform as were other staff. She was advised that she would have to finish up when she could no longer fit into the uniform because it wasn't nice for customers to be served by a pregnant woman, and the employer did not was to go to the expense of getting special uniforms, or adapting them for her.

Information and enquiry service

Individuals, employers and business operators can access the Commission's statewide telephone information and enquiry service.

Making a complaint

Make a complaint to the Commission on the Complaint Form about pregnancy discrimination.

The complaint must be lodged with the Commission within 1 year of the discrimination happening.

The Commission's service is free.